The St. Catherine Choral Society artfully blends students, staff, faculty, community members and professional musicians.
BY PAULINE OO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRIS DRAKE
In 1993, Professor of Music Patricia Connors founded the St. Catherine Choral Society to give her students a mixed choir in which to hone their vocal chops and give members of the St. Kate's community an opportunity to participate in high-quality performances of choral masterworks.
The Choral Society performs a concert each fall and spring with professional musicians who play with the likes of the Minnesota Orchestra or the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Society membership ranges between 70 and 90 singers.
Singers who make the cut don't have to re-audition if they want to sing the following year. Connors always saves about 20 spots for St. Kate's students.
Rehearsals, which are held each Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Music Building, begin with stretching and vocal warm-up exercises. Connors also peppers each session with tips on vocal technique, diction and rhythmic vitality.
"Her ear is amazing," says choir member and high school teacher Jenny Madden. "She can hear all those different voice parts and knows immediately when just one of us is off. Singing with her is like having a mini voice lesson every time."